414 URI Too Long HTTP status code is returned by a server when it receives a request with a URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) that is longer than the server can handle. This can occur when a client sends an excessively long request to the server, which may be due to an error in the client application or an attempt to exploit potential security vulnerabilities.
When Does a Server Return 414 URI Too Long?
A server returns this status code when it is unable to process a request with a URI that exceeds its maximum allowed length. The specific length limit depends on the server implementation and configuration. For instance, the popular web server Apache has a default limit of 8190 bytes for the length of a request line (including the method, URI, and protocol version).
This status code is part of the HTTP/1.1 specification (RFC 7230), which states that servers should be able to handle URIs of at least 8000 octets (bytes) in length. However, some servers might allow even longer URIs, while others might enforce a shorter limit.
Example: 414 URI Too Long
Suppose a client sends an HTTP GET request with an unusually long query string:
GET /search?q=ThisIsAnExcessivelyLongSearchQueryThatExceedsTheServerLimitAndCausesA414URITooLongResponse HTTP/1.1 Host: example.com
If the server is unable to handle the request due to the length of the URI, it would respond with a
414 URI Too Long status code:
HTTP/1.1 414 URI Too Long Content-Type: text/html Content-Length: 42 <html><body>URI Too Long</body></html>
How to Resolve 414 URI Too Long Issues
To resolve a
414 URI Too Long issue, you can take the following steps:
- Check the client application: If you have control over the client application, ensure that it is not generating excessively long URIs. For example, you might need to truncate or paginate long query strings to fit within the server’s limits.
- Configure the server: If you have control over the server, you might be able to increase the maximum allowed URI length. However, be cautious when doing this, as allowing very long URIs can expose your server to potential security risks, such as buffer overflow attacks.
- Use POST instead of GET: If the long URI is a result of a large amount of data being sent in the query string, consider using the HTTP POST method instead. With POST, the data can be sent in the request body, which typically has a higher size limit than the URI.
414 URI Too Long HTTP status code indicates that a server has received a request with a URI that is longer than it can handle. This can be caused by an error in the client application or an attempt to exploit potential security vulnerabilities. To resolve this issue, you can check the client application, configure the server to allow longer URIs, or use the HTTP POST method instead of GET for large amounts of data.